Some people just prefer open-fit earbuds, maybe because they don’t like the pressure that silicon tips can cause, or maybe they just want to be able to hear their environment at all times. The TicPods 2 Pro provides that while still delivering pretty decent sound.
First shown off at CES 2020, the TicPods 2 Pro are a pretty interesting offering because there are some cool features that Mobvoi packed into it.
The first would be TicMotion. Using the accelerometers, a user can nod their head twice or shake their head twice to either pick up or decline a call. It’s definitely a fun little feature, but you might want to think twice about using it outdoors or in a train if you care about how others might see you.
It’s not the most effective either, with relatively large nods or shakes needed to activate it.
The other feature would be TicHear, which allows you to say common command phrases out loud without having to use an activation word first. For instance, I could have a song playing, and just by saying “pause music”, the song would stop.
The one thing to take note of here is that you have to really put effort into enunciating the command. If you speak really fast or slur your words slightly, the earbuds won’t register the command.
Let’s move onto the design.
The case is a pretty slim one, and it’ll fit perfectly into the small front pocket of jeans. The earbuds sit in a slanted angle opposite each other, which is probably why the case can be so small.
This does mean that when you pull the earbuds out, you’ll have to rotate them a bit to get them in the right position to sit in your ear. It’s not a big deal though.
There’s also a small button in the case for pairing or resetting the earbuds, and two LED lights in the front indicate charge status. The case charges by USB-C, which is excellent. What’s not excellent though, is that you can only charge the case with a USB-A to USB-C cable. USB-C to USB-C cables won’t charge the case, which is a shame.
Mobvoi claims 4 hours of battery life in the earbuds, which is pretty accurate. I got around 3 hours and 45 minutes, so thumbs up there. The case provides an additional 4 charges, so you’ll get around 22 to 23 hours of battery life in total.
On to the fit of the earbuds, they definitely don’t fit as securely since they’re open-fit. This means that if you’re planning to exercise with these, you might want to be wary about them falling out due to sweat and the likes. If you’re just using them normally though, they do sit fine and can withstand even a few hard shakes of the head.
The good thing is that thanks to the open-fit design, they’re incredibly comfortable to wear. There won’t be any pressure build-up, and they’re lightweight enough that you might even forget they’re there.
There’s also IPX4 water resistance, so no worries about sweat or a light drizzle. These also support aptX HD, so users will be able to enjoy higher resolution audio and less latency. You’ll have to download the Mobvoi app to activate it though.
What about sound quality? Well, I was pretty taken aback by the soundstage. These sound incredibly wide and spacious, with a good amount of space and separation between the left/right channels. There’s definitely still a decent amount of emphasis on the low end, which is good. The treble doesn’t suffer either, with vocals having an appropriate amount of air.
The problems start when you’re listening to these when out and about. Because of the open-fit design, external noise bleeds in and really affects how music sound. Instruments start to get hard to discern, and I’ve found myself turning up the volume just to be able to hear my music better.
It’s not really the fault of the TicPods 2 Pro though. It’s just an issue with open-fit earbuds, so consumers will have to weigh the pros and cons of earbuds that have this design.
Overall, these are a decent pair of earbuds if you want an open-fit design. The fact that you can find them discounted is a plus, since I’m iffy about recommending them at the RRP of S$229. If you’re looking for something even better though, the Huawei FreeBuds 3 are also an open-fit design, but they offer ANC. The Vivo TWS Neo is another option if you already own a Vivo phone.
For more information about the Mobvoi TicPods 2 Pro (S$229) or to support us, get it on Amazon here.